Austin police stepping up enforcement to curb aggressive driving

 Austin police and Travis County deputies will be on the lookout for aggressive drivers on I-35 this week.

The Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks or TACT program kicked off Saturday morning. It will run through March 22.

"For the whole week they're going to see a high visibility of officers on the I-35 area north and south," said Highway Enforcement Officer Sgt. Matthew Gil with the Austin Police Department.

Officers will cite drivers who appear aggressive that could put others in danger.

"We just want everyone to be safe through this whole week. We don't want any major incidents," said Gil.

Police said when cars and trucks share the road; both vehicles should take extra precautions. That's because trucks need extra room to turn and maneuver both on streets and major highways.

Practicing some simple driving techniques could be the difference between arriving safely and ending a trip in twisted metal.

"Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, always use your turn signals, always keep your cellphones out of your hands, wear your seatbelts," said Gil.

Police are also looking for drunk or distracted drivers. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were more than 1,000 people killed in drunk driving crashes in 2013. That same year 460 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.

"I just want drivers to be courteous to all the other motor vehicles on the highway," said Gil.

The success of the TACT program in other states convinced Texas authorities to participate. They hope that awareness and enforcement will mean more drivers get where they're going.

Aggressive drivers could be fined $200 for each moving violation and could even spend time in jail.

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